SALVATION: The War Memoirs of Charles de Gaulle Vol. III- 1944-1946 by Charles de Gaulle

SALVATION: The War Memoirs of Charles de Gaulle Vol. III- 1944-1946

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Liberation was a magic word in 1944, when Charles de Gaulle, leader of the forces that had contributed to that goal, came back to power. Only the frontier of the Reich, Alsace, the Alpine passes and pockets on the Atlantic coast remained in German hands. But complete liberation proved almost as difficult on the Allied front as on the German front. Gen. de Gaulle tells the story of those years in terms first of the agonies France faced within herself -- paralyzed economically by devastation, destruction of transportation, communication, industry, by shortage of manpower, by lack of everything. At the moment, those in the new and hastily formed government accepted the necessity of discipline and sacrifice. Later, the French habit of splintering party government caused dislocation within government ranks, impatience without. But that was not all the problem. De Gaulle acknowledges the fact that he had been a thorn in the side of England and France-though his reasoning differs sharply from that presented by the others. And this he continued to be, since his goal was reestablishment of France as a sovereign power, acceptance of France as an equal ally, recognition of France's rights to hold the line in Alsace, even when the French units were ordered to retire, etc., etc. This is an immensely interesting record and in final analysis de Gaulle emerges as France's savior, in war and in peace, and one understands more fully the reasons why- when called again to restore a disintegrating France- he insisted on protection of his power and position. The style is strange -- now written in the first person, now rather grandiosely transferred to the third person, in, one supposes, an attempt to view the leader of France as a symbol, apart from the narrator. While this will not go down as great autobiography, it is a vital panel of contemporary history.

Pub Date: April 25th, 1960
Publisher: Simon & Schuster